Court strikes out Naira abuse charge, as Cubana Chief Priest forfeits N10m to FG

By Adeyanju Esther

A Federal High Court in Lagos has struck out the charge of naira abuse filed against celebrity bartender, Cubana Chief Priest, following an out-of-court settlement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The defendant, Pascal Okechukwu, popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, was ordered to forfeit N10 million to the Federal Government as part of the settlement agreement.

The EFCC had filed charges against Cubana Chief Priest for allegedly abusing the naira, but the parties reached an agreement, which was adopted by the trial judge, Justice Kehinde Ogundare.

The defendant’s counsel, Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN), commended the EFCC for their reasonable action in resolving the matter, and assured that his client was remorseful and promised to turn over a new leaf.

The judge, in his ruling, adopted the terms of settlement and struck out the charge. With this development, Cubana Chief Priest has escaped prosecution, but will forfeit N10 million to the Federal Government..

The terms of settlement agreement pursuant to Section 14 (2) of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004, read:

“The agreement applies only to the findings relating to contraventions of the law contained in the pending charge preferred against the defendant.

“The defendant entered into a bond with the EFCC to be of good behaviour and never indulge in any Economic and Financial Crime or related offences.

“The Defendant shall engage in rigorous and intensive sensitisation and/or campaign against the abuse of coins and notes issued under the CBN Act as legal tender.

“The defendant shall bi-monthly post on his various social media handles a minimum of two video clips of his sensitisation/campaign against abuse of naira and sundry offences.

“The Defendant shall pay to the consolidated revenue fund of Federation such sum not below the sum of Ten million naira (N10,000,000:00) only upon the execution af this agreement.

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